‘Conquer’ wins rangatahi section of Song Comp 2019

Twelve-year-old Lucian McDermott has a precocious musical talent and a courageous and optimistic spirit.

He’s used all those qualities to write and perform ‘Courage’, the winning entry in the Rangatahi section of the 2019 E Tū Whānau Song Competition.

‘Conquer’ is about bullying and what goes through the mind of someone being bullied.

“Bullying is a sad topic to me, so I wanted to write a song about it to help make a change.”

Lucian experienced bullying himself but refused to put up with it. He was able to stop it quickly after talking to his parents and developing his own strategies like focusing on his sense of self-worth.

“I know far too many other rangatahi also have to deal with bullying and I hope that this song reaches kids out there that are going through it.”

Lucien started singing and playing the guitar when he was seven years old.  He’s now a multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, guitar bass and drums.

Guitar is his first favourite instrument so it’s no surprise that he spent the $1000 Rockshop gift card on a Fender Stratocaster. Playing it is a total joy for young Lucian.

“It’s so nice to play, much smoother. It gives me a beautiful sound.  I just love it.”

His guitar heroes are Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.  They were among the musicians his dad, also a guitarist, played for him when he started learning the instrument.

His father was his inspiration and his first music teacher.

“Now he reckons I’m better than him,” Lucian says with a laugh.

Our guess is that his Dad is really happy about that.

This is the fourth year we have held the E Tū Whānau song competition. It is based on the idea that no matter how big or small, we can all make a difference and be responsible for creating positive change within our whānau, hapū, iwi and community.

Entrants are invited to write an original song inspiring positive change, and incorporating one or more of E Tū Whānau’s values;  Aroha, Whanaungatanga, Whakapapa, Mana/Manaaki, Kōrero Awhi, and Tikanga. You can read more about the E Tū Whānau kaupapa here.